Paintings, drawings, collages, photos, videos and more

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On Alexa Hollywood’s page on the Milwaukee Artists Resource Network website, she writes:

I am a concept artist and author who works across media. I create paintings, drawings, assemblages, collages, photographs, mixed media photographs, videos and books. It is in my nature to yearn for something new, to experiment and invent. A recurring concept in my work is iteration and iterative change. This comes from my experience as an old woman. I understand that changes over the course of life are due to small iterative changes. It is these iterative changes that drive the cumulative experience. I work in series. Often times I create a persona to expand and explore the series. This has to do with recognition of iterations and the fact that I’ve been many people throughout my life.

I have recurring themes in my work. They are feminism, art through history and across cultures, old age and death.

While my style can be different in each series, there are several constants. I usually use vivid, saturated colors. I use different brushstrokes when painting because I love the texture. I am mostly self-taught. Fred Bell, one of my few early teachers, once told me I was a messy painter. He admonished me not to be trained on it. My work is stylistically more relaxed and I leave traces that others could paint over or erase.

I create and invent. While I am a concept artist, I intuitively explore all media. All artists are both conceptual and intuitive. My intuition controls my concepts. My concepts drive my intuition.


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Which way do you prefer and why?

For me, the focus is on the creative process. The medium offers structure for the creative process. Last year I applied for local Milwaukee scholarships. My goal is not to receive the scholarship, but to clarify who I am as an artist by appraising my work and refining an artist’s statement. The medium I prefer is always what I am currently in.

You are currently working on some photographs. Describe your style or topic.

During the pandemic shutdown, I became interested in photography. The way to escape my apartment was on foot. I started taking pictures. The photos that I was particularly interested in were photos of the superimposition of a mirror image and the image in a window. As a result, I started taking composite photos. I did a Milwaukee Double Exposure series. I then took composite photos of drawings and paintings overlaid on pictures I took while walking in Milwaukee. I see these works as mixed media pieces. I think all art is local. It is created in a locale. These mixed media pieces are a manifestation of that.

What kind of performance art do you do?

When I was in my thirties I did a short time as a choreographer / dancer. I didn’t enjoy it. However, it shapes my work. I’ve created picture / storybooks in which I’m the protagonist and published them myself on Blurb. They have a theatrical character. In 2018 I became interested in video and created short video vignettes in which I listed my writing. I called this series of works the “LilliandDottir Confessional Poet Cycle”. As I work on each new series, I often return to video making and story / picture books.

You’re from Seattle. How is Milwaukee different for you and do you prefer it?

I love seattle It is my hometown. It is a city surrounded by mountains between Lake Washington and Puget Sound. But the city I grew up in is not the city that exists today. I prefer milwaukee. Milwaukee is my adopted home and suits me a lot better than Seattle. I love Milwaukee history. Milwaukee was a socialist city and at the same time the machine shop of the world. I often go through the green spaces. I research the architecture and history of Milwaukee.

What do you say to those who ask artists to focus on a particular medium?

In the 21st century, artists and brilliance are commonplace. Product exceeds demand. Artists are cautioned to focus on a style or medium so that their work can be easily identified. Both the artist and his work become commodities. A collector not only buys the work, but also the artist’s name brand. I started creating visual art when I was 60. I started taking drawing classes at Milwaukee Parks and Recreation. I guess I won’t live long enough to become a brand.

Creating art is my calling and my discipline. In terms of temperament, I long for something new. I invent and research. It is in my nature to define myself through work across all media.


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